This article is actually written by the amazing Blair Atkins

Blair Atkins is a freelance fitness writer based in San Diego, CA. A former Division I volleyball player, she is now exploring other ways to sweat off of the court. While she also enjoys SPX Pilates, running, and hiking, she has delved deep into her yoga practice in the past two years since completing her career as a college athlete and recently became an instructor through CorePower Yoga. Blair recently created the blog where she writes daily about healthy living in Southern California.

Yoga is the workout of choice for many of us. Just by using our body weight, we are able to build strength, tone the body, and increase our flexibility. Practicing yoga with weights can give us even better physical results, as it requires greater strength to hold poses with extra weight in hand. But some yogis worry about the safety of practicing yoga with weights. Is yoga meant to be practiced this way? 

“Yoga done with weights is completely safe,” says Amy Opielowski, who has been teaching Yoga Sculpt at CorePower Yoga for the past five years. “The added weight in a Yoga Sculpt class tests students’ boundaries in order to grow and transform the body and the mind. Yoga performed with weights increases students’ awareness and connection to mindful movement with breath. This awareness of the body allows students to strengthen and tone.”  

Most yoga classes that involve weights are a combination of traditional yoga, cardio, pliometrics, and weight lifting. These classes tone the entire body, especially the shoulders, biceps, and core. Vinyasa with weights also increases your endurance. If you enjoy hybrid yoga classes, you may enjoy yoga with weights not only for the enhanced physical results it provides but also for the opportunity to merely switch up your routine. In addition, when you return to Warrior II without weights after a class like Amy’s Yoga Sculpt at CorePower, it will be so much easier than it was with 6 to 10 extra pounds in tow, allowing you to get better alignment and form and a full expression of the posture. 

It is also important to note that like any yoga practice, yoga postures with weights can be modified. Any of the poses can be done without weights and you can still reap the benefits. 

Have you ever tried a yoga with weights class? What did you think?

More from alignyo:

Try this yoga with weights workout from the Dirty Yoga Co.

Tone your arms and core with this Xen Strength video.